Industrial robots are machines that are intended for use in automated production and carry out programmed and also, if necessary, sensor-controlled sequences of movement. The number of degrees of freedom (DOF) determines how the robots can be used as a human arm. The industrial robots can be fitted with grippers, vacuum suction units or tools and perform a wide variety of tasks in manufacturing, assembly and logistics.
But a robot with 6 DOFs is not always needed. Thanks to the plastic used in the joints and the injection moulding method, igus® can manufacture cost-effective industrial robots and pass the low price on to the final customers in industry. Even for small and medium-sized enterprises, they open up possibilities of automation for dangerous or monotonous work.
Structure of robolink® industrial robots - Individual parts or complete robot arm?
The individual parts of the robolink® series form a modular system consisting of a connecting base, motor-powered articulated joints with gearboxes made of plastic, connecting elements of different lengths and, if necessary, also with an integrated control system with control panel. In conjunction with other igus® products such as energy chains, chainflex® cables and a base, the robolink® modular system as a ready-made industrial robot provides as an "out-of-the-box" solution.
The control system in the robolink®® DCi
For controlling and programming purposes, igus® GmbH uses the technical systems of Commonplace Robotics GmbH. With micro-steps of 1/256, the control system enables fluid movement of the robot arm, while its interactive 3D user interface serves as an intuitive environment for entry and adaptation of the motion steps.
In order to remove mobile phone half-shells from a hazardous area of a machine with coolant spraying water, a robolink® articulated arm is used by a machine tool manufacturer.
robolink® Apiro and ReBeL are still in the development phase. But even now, it is evident that the future belongs to modular robot systems, service robots and collaborative robots
With the help of a robolink® D articulated arm, the Four Stars Engineering Systems GmbH is able to offer precisely that to its customers for the automated electrical testing of printed circuit boards.
Articulated joints for industrial robots
The articulated joints are also characterised by lubrication-free plastic gearboxes, low-friction igus® bearing technology and a wide variety of different modules. igus® GmbH has detailed data sheets showing the exact specifications.
Selection criteria for industrial robots
When a robolink® industrial robot is being selected for a particular application, the working area, the necessary load carrying capacity, the necessary range, the cycle times to be achieved, the required precision, the supply of media and the ambient conditions have to be taken into account.
The working area is derived from the maximum range of the industrial robot and its dimensions as well as the orientation of the connected tool. Mounting the robot on a separate axis of movement enlarges the working area. As a rule, control of this movement is integrated in the robot control system.
The load consists of the weights of the tool and workpiece together. The torque is derived from the distance between the tool flange and the centre of gravity of the net load. The technical design of the robot arm must be able to withstand the moment of inertia resulting from alteration of the speed and direction of movement of the net load.
Areas of use for industrial robots
Robots are used in every branch of industry. Whether for industrial assembly, pick & place applications, or quality control purposes, robolink® industrial robots can be used wherever monotonous or hazardous work has to be done.